AWH Partners With Last Prisoner Project to Support Cannabis Criminal Justice Reform
The company will be the first multi-state operator to match customer donations to LPP
NYC, July 1, 2020 / — AWH, a multi-state, vertically integrated cannabis operator, today announced its partnership with Last Prisoner Project (LPP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to clemency and expungement, re-entry programs and advocacy for individuals with cannabis convictions. The partnership will launch on July 1 and match at least $125,000 in customer donations by the end of 2020 for a total $250,000.
As the leading private multi-state operator (MSO), AWH recognizes its urgent responsibility in dismantling an unjust justice system that disproportionately incarcerates Black and brown individuals for cannabis-related offences while legal companies are openly profiting off of the sales of the same plant.
AWH is the only MSO to match customer donations to benefit Last Prisoner Project. Starting on July 1, the company will launch a three tier approach to support and build awareness along with the corporate match, to LPP. AWH retail locations will ask customers to voluntarily donate one dollar to LPP at checkout. To further incentivize participation, the company will offer customers who donate to the program entry into a monthly raffle for a $250 gift certificate prize. We will be matching every dollar donated for a total of $250,000. To build awareness for LPP, retail locations will provide each customer with a postcard that features a story of a person who has been impacted by the criminalization of cannabis.
“As part of our company ethos, we’ve built external local partnerships to recruit and hire employees who come through re-entry programs and we offer record-sealing clinics, but we needed to do something bigger and more impactful, said Andrea Cabral,” CEO of Ascend Mass. “The harm caused by the over-policing and over-prosecution of Black and brown people, especially for cannabis, is ongoing and for many as relentless as it’s ever been. LLP’s precise mission and method is what drew us: Change laws, change policies, build job skills and support networks and above all “don’t stop until the last cannabis prisoner is released.”
AWH will incorporate Last Prisoner Project donations in all future dispensary launches to bring awareness to the organization and challenge state governments to reform local cannabis incarceration policies. In addition to donation matching, the program will also launch an e-commerce and text message campaign to benefit LPP. In the coming months, the company plans to launch a campaign in Illinois that will name a flower strain after a local LPP client, highlight the individual’s life story and donate a portion of product sales back to the individual.
“Our industry will only become more powerful when we work together to lift up those who have been harmed by these discriminatory policies,” said Mary Bailey, Managing Director of Last Prisoner Project. “I am encouraged to see large operators like AWH stepping up and recognizing the need for more social advocacy in the cannabis industry.”
“Legal companies can no longer stand idly by and profit off of cannabis while Black individuals like Michael Thompson, are serving a 60 year sentence in Michigan for selling the same thing,” said Abner Kurtin, Founder of AWH. “Last Prisoner Project is one of the driving forces in addressing the racial and systemic injustices in this industry, and the entire AWH staff is thrilled to help them bring consequential changes to the lives of incarcerated individuals.”
AWH is a market leading, vertically integrated operator with assets in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts and New Jersey. AWH is breaking down traditional walls in the cannabis marketplace to provide easy and accessible products and exclusive brand partnerships. AWH owns and operates state-of-the-art cultivation facilities, growing award winning strains and producing curated selection of products with effect-based categorization. AWH operates, Illinois Supply and Provisions, and Ohio Provisions, and has a strategic partnership with Michigan Supply and Provisions. AWH produces and distributes Ozone branded products. For more information, visit www.awholdings.com.
About Last Prisoner Project
Last Prisoner Project (LPP) is an advocacy organization made up of cannabis industry leaders, executives and artists dedicated to making sure that every cannabis prisoner is released, welcomed home and supported by their community. LPP is focusing its efforts on clemency and expungement, re-entry programs and advocacy. As the United States moves away from the criminalization of cannabis, giving rise to a major new industry, there remains the fundamental injustice inflicted upon those who have suffered criminal convictions and the consequences of those convictions. Through intervention, advocacy and awareness campaigns, the forces behind the Last Prisoner Project will work to redress the past and continuing harms of these unjust laws and policies and are dedicated to making sure that every last cannabis prisoner walks free. Visit www.lastprisonerproject.org or text FREEDOM to 24365 to donate and learn more.